The Streets Of Seoul – Part 1
I truly enjoy traveling and exploring new places but getting to your final destinations can sometimes be a challenge. Flight delays, bad seats, and layovers can make for some really long days. Recently I was returning to Portland from a trip to Vietnam and had a 14-hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. As I wrote in my earlier post Royal Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace getting out of the airport is very welcomed and if you have enough time to enjoy some sights, that’s even better. On my previous visit I spent most of my time around the Gyeongbokgung Palace area. This time I wanted to explore some of the other parts of Seoul.
I had planned on taking the Express train from the airport to Seoul Station which should take 43 minutes. When I purchased my ticket I was told the train was downstairs and that it would be leaving in about 15 minutes so I headed down the escalator with my ticket in hand. As I got closer to the train platform I realized I couldn’t get to the train because there was a barrier obstructing me from getting to the side that the train was on. I strolled to the other side of the platform and it to was blocked. Sadly I don’t speak any Korean and the one person that looked like he worked there didn’t speak English. I could see people on the train, the train was heading in the right direction, and I only had 5 minutes to get on it. So after a few minutes of trying to figure out what I had done wrong I decided to risk it and jumped the barrier and got on the train. My adventure had begun….
As I left Incheon International Airport via what I thought was the express train to Seoul Station I started to review a few notes about the places I intended to visit that day. 5 minutes later the train stopped,then 10 minutes later another stop. I quickly realized that this was not the express train. Then I started asking myself where is this train heading? Should I get off at the next stop and head back to the airport? I decided to stay on and see where I’d end up. Eventually I did end up at Seoul Station where I caught the #1 subway line to my first stop, Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market.
The fish market is like no other place I’ve been. It’s a large open warehouse with every type of sea creature you could ever imagine, every one of them on display and most likely heading out to a restaurant or dinner table in the near future. All of this mixed with the energy of all the people working there and shopping made for an incredible visit.
The market is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The merchants there made me feel very welcome showing me the items they were selling and letting me take as many photos as I wanted knowing the entire time that I would probably not be purchasing anything from them. It’s worth remembering that it is a place of business and that this is how the people working there make a living. Respecting that along with having a good attitude and a smile will get you a long way even if you don’t speak the same language.
Taken with the X-T1 by Fujifilm X-T1 and stylized in and Perfect Photo Suite 9.5 by .